Friday, March 10, 2017

Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns

I listened to the audio version of Cold Sassy Tree  written by Olive Ann Burns and narrated by Grover Gardner. I don't know that I would have liked it as much without this narrator. His voice reminded me of Morgan Freeman's - smooth, deep, and so good for storytelling voice.

The story is set in 1906 in the south when racism was strong and harsh, when people judged you on your religion, your job, where you lived, if you grieved properly, and what color your skin was. This story shows things how they were, but Burns doesn't preach; she trusts her reader enough to make judgments for themselves.

The story begins with Rucker Blakeslee, the proprietor of the town store marrying a woman as young as his daughters only three weeks after the death of his wife. The town, including his married daughters, are thrown into a tailspin. His daughters are determined not to like his new bride. The town is determined to shut her out. Only his grandson, Will Tweedy, is willing to give her a chance. He has a bit of a crush on her and misses his grandmother terribly, but he sees that Grandpa is happy.

The story is told from Will Tweedy's point of view. He is a likable boy who isn't afraid of a fight or hard work. He is also ready a willing to play pranks on his Aunt Loma - pranks that will make you laugh out loud.

I wasn't completely happy with how the book ended, but after thinking about if for a few days, I've decided that the story needed to head that way if only for the reader to gain understanding about life and living. I found myself saying, "No," aloud during certain scenes that I wanted to have end differently.

Watch out because you will get attached to these characters. You will laugh and cry with them.

Rucker Blakeslee is a wonderfully written character who will make you want to be a better person.

Read to a child today even if that child is you.

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